Round-up Tracks: Belle & Sebastian, Bastille & More

DIY writers pick their favourite new songs from the last seven days.

Happy Halloween, and welcome to this week’s edition of tracks. In between snipping eye-holes for white sheet ghost costumes and carving pumpkins, the DIY’s splendid array of scribes have taken a quick break to put their heads together and bring you the tracks from this week that just can’t be missed. For even more new music, head over to the DIY Listening Hub to get the comprehensive list of everything else out this week.

Belle & Sebastian - The Party Line

Falling somewhere in the middle between Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ and Scissor Sister’s ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancing’, ‘The Party Line’ is probably the last thing people were expecting from Belle and Sebastian even if the title is a bit of a giveaway. With Stuart Murdoch’s signature lackadaisical vocal now swamped in deep discoball synths, Belle and Sebastian are letting the world know that they’re not just ready to party: they’re ready to party really fucking hard. It’s a huge, exciting curveball for the band, and to be honest it’s a welcome one at that. Their spritely, occasionally mopey indie rock has fallen flat inrecent times, and so this is a refreshing return to form that makes the rest of ‘Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’ equally intriguing. If we’re taking titles literally now, we’d better have our dancing shoes on by the time January rolls round. (Tom Walters)

Bastille - The Driver

While touring the world in a seemingly never-ending run of shows it must be tough to find time to do anything but gig and travel. Bastille, however, managed to exert even more creative energy by crafting several mixtapes. These are no ordinary mixes; they’re all originally composed albums featuring a whole host of musicians from around the world, both geographically and musically. The beautiful sentiment here is that they have nothing to do with standard industry etiquette. In fact they are the direct opposite of a strategic album release, and it’s a modern day folk movement showcasing musicians doing what they love – making music. Whether backstage at a festival or on the back of the bus before soundcheck, Bastille and friends have seized technology, using it to offer us unique and incredible music. ‘The Driver’ is from the bands upcoming mixtape, ‘Vs. (Other People’s Heartache pt. III)’, but also features on Zane Lowe’s ambitious ‘Radio 1 Rescores: Drive’ project. It doesn’t take long to hear why. Opening on a sinister bluesy guitar riff, it quickly marches up to an overbearing brass synth that tears across the vocal as bluntly as the scene it is synced with. Sure, we can all agree the film’s original soundtrack is great; outstanding, even. You know what, though? So is this. Collaborative works are what makes independent music and film so inspiring, and the more people at the helm asking, “Why don’t we try…” the better. (Joe Dickinson)

Drake - How About Now

Released out of the blue in order to beat “some hackers” to the punch (there’s that pesky internet wreaking havoc again), Drizzy’s chasing the critical acclaim for ‘Nothing Was The Same’ and its radio smash ‘Started From The Bottom’. On ‘How About Now’, Boy-1da and Jordan Evans’ production is thick like honey, defined by their juxtaposition of gut-wrenching bass drops and a sickly sweet pitched-up sample of Jodeci’s 90s slow jam ‘My Heart Belongs to U’. Over the top, Drake seizes control with a smirk in his voice and a bounce in his delivery, laying into his efforts in a past relationship with a ferocity that’s equal parts self-reflection and exorcism. The chorus is almost tongue-in-cheek in its delivery – “I’m up right now, and you suck right now” he grins on the juvenile hook. Yes, it’s about an ex, but this is a far more sneering effort than Drake’s ‘wet blanket’ online image would have you believe. “Crazy how you gotta wait ‘til it’s dark out to see who really with you” he cries, but he’s not gazing at his navel or weeping into his latest Timehop – he’s taking on the world, and consequently far more in control than anyone stuck behind a keyboard, taking pop-shots. (Tom Connick)

Shamir - On the Regular

With all the giddy, don’t-give-a-shit enthusiasm of a kid trying to stick ice cream up their nose, Shamir is a sugar-dosed freak possessing unlimited potential. ‘On the Regular’ is the most ‘212’-sounding introduction since Azealia Banks broke through with expensive taste. Her career’s since spiralled the wrong way, but Shamir - at just 19 - is a 5”10 master of his craft, ranging from bolshy claims to a silky-smooth lead vocal. Coupled with one of the most colourful, confidence videos to emerge in 2014, ‘On the Regular’ is the very definition of extraordinary. (Jamie Milton)

Ifan Dafydd - Eclipse

After over a year in the shadows, elusive Welsh producer Ifan Dafydd returns to the fray with a stylish statement of intent. Titled ‘Eclipse’ and complete with a vocal hook that hums about the moon alongside ghostly cries, you’d think that this might be another to add to Dafydd’s collection of mystical downtempo productions. As it happens, Eclipse shines in a slightly different and fresh light. Given its foundations by a bass line taken straight from a city jazz club, stop start patterns keep you listening for something new in every bar whilst blips toss and turn with licks of strings that could probably find a home on the new Caribou record if ever they needed. Dafydd has placed atmosphere above groove in the past but this track takes him closer to the dance floor than ever before, strutting with the confidence of someone who’s ready to come back for more. (Liam McNeilly)

Deers - Between Cans

By Deers’ standards, at least, ‘Between Cans’ is a straight-up ballad. It does have the slight air of a Deep Meaningful Conversation taking place on a cold night between two people and a couple of lukewarm tinnies; the mark of any decent ode to romance that hits in the right place. Over the top of a waltzy 3/4 time signature, guitars noodle away, and the chorusing gets louder, more disorganised, and more fabulously Deers by the minute. Set to play DIY’s all-dayer tomorrow, the Madrid band are going to be giving ‘Between Cans’ its first live London airing. Elegant gowns and tinnies all round. (El Hunt)

Tags: Bastille, Belle and Sebastian, Features

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